The number of digital point-of-sales has skyrocketed for most industrial insurers. More and more web-portals for brokers or for collaborations with insurance portals are taking shape. A major challenge for insurers is how to deal with this growing number of digital branches that are constantly becoming more and more individualized for different countries and markets. One answer is the multichannel approach: A central management system is used to create and control the contents of all websites where the insurer’s offers are presented.

“How do I manage dozens of web portals?” is one of the key challenges of insurers in the face of digital sales channels. Here is a web portal for a broker, there is another portal for a new collaboration with a financial institution. We currently witness an ongoing differentiation in the market, which results in a growing multiplicity of digital point-of-sales. They provide various opportunities for insurers to participate in collaborative business constellations. But they also introduce serious administrative challenges.

One system for multiple channels

Suppose an insurer handles 20 different digital point-of-sales. Does that mean that the underwriters have to login to 20 different systems and treat every point-of-sale individually? Certainly not, it is obvious that this is not a viable solution. Isolated standalone web portals are not manageable in the long run – especially if you take into account that the number will probably rise quickly from 20 to 200. The only way out is a centralized system which serves any number of point-of-sales – the so-called multichannel approach. Ideally the centralized system is able to create new web-portals within a few weeks instead of months, ensuring a short time to market.

Relying on a multichannel system brings about substantial benefits. It helps to counteract unnecessary fragmentations and reduces administrative overhead. Most digital point-of-sales sell the same core products after all. In most cases, small adjustments create variants of these products for different point-of-sales. Being able to handle these variants on a product-level is the key to managing a digital portfolio. Being able to handle variants of web portals is the key to managing digital point-of-sales. Sometimes, even small changes have a great impact and affect the acceptance of a digital point-of-sale big time – e.g. meaningful default values in online forms.

Insurance meets E-Commerce

Providing a top-notch user experience is critical for successfully tapping into digital sales channels. Users are constantly becoming accustomed to higher standards. Studies in e-commerce have shown for example that if the loading process of a shop web page is delayed by a second, the revenue drops off by 10 percent. Even tiny nuances decide whether a business venture in the web is successful or not. This is especially true for consumer-oriented offers in the e-commerce sector, but it does not end there. The demand for appealing user interfaces and seamless, coherent user experiences is constantly spilling over to the B2B domain.

Industrial insurers are well advised to harness the tools, techniques and principles that have been developed in the area of e-commerce. This includes tracking, performing A/B tests, SEO optimization, analyzing user behaviors and drawing appropriate conclusions. If something doesn’t work, tear it down and build it anew. There is a pinch of trial and error in every successful e-commerce strategy. The main goal is to improve the point-of-sale’s conversion rate and thus increase the sales of insurance products.